It’s better to live and learn than just live.
Kanye West’s recent public spectacle at the VMAs has caused me to think about what artists can learn from his life. Consider yourself fortunate if you can learn from your mistakes. Consider yourself more fortunate if you can learn from the mistakes of others.
Celebrities are constantly being recorded, photographed and examined by a sometimes unfair press. Living under a microscope accentuates everyone’s flaws, but there is a difference between a mistake and a habit. It’s the difference between a bad judgment call and a bad character defect.
We are all responsible for our own actions and the root cause of our own actions. Lest we get judgmental here, I want to remind us that we usually judge ourselves according to our motives and judge others by their actions.
Here is my short list of eight life lessons we can learn from Kanye:
1. Bears and hearts are cute: try to find a way to use them in your brand.
2. Everybody needs to be accountable to somebody.
If there’s nobody in your life who can tell you when you’re acting stupid or calling you out for your attitude, you lose. Everybody needs to grow up. Who is helping you?
3. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I Corinthians 10:23-24 (NLT) “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” Nuff said…
4. Don’t take credit for what others have created.
Kanye wasn’t the first DJs in a spaceship pyramid stage. Daft Punk did it first. Kanye even used one of their songs as a beat on that album/tour. How many Kanye fans know that?
5. With Autotune, anybody can “sing”.
It doesn’t mean everybody’s a singer, it just means that more and more people are deluded into thinking they can sing. Refer back to this blogpost and #3 on this list…
6. Prosperity ruins a fool.
Proverbs 1:32 (KJV) “the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” Prosperity doesn’t ruin everybody, it just magnifies what’s already on the inside of people. On your way to success? Deal with your heart first.
7. It’s not polite to interrupt.
I’m not defending his actions, I actually agree with Mom on this one. However… It’s easy to judge Kanye for what he did at the VMAs, but how many times have we finished a story someone else started or interrupted a conversation with something we thought was more important to say. Sorry kids, it’s the same thing, same character issue – just a smaller “stage”.
8. Cheer-on other artists who are succeeding, especially those outside your circle.
I love watching kind, humble and gracious artists in action. You will never lose by giving props to anyone who deserves them, even if you don’t really get what they do. It doesn’t always have to be about you – most of the time it’s better if it’s not.
Trust me: it’s better to live and learn than just live. Just ask Kanye…